In 1976, building a set of Krazy Cars required a lot of Wonder Bread
They were colorful, funny, and informative … a cross between Wacky Packages, Mad magazine, and an automotive history class. And they cost a lot of bread. Literally.
In 1976, Wonder Bread hoped to boost sales by giving kids a reason to ask Mom for more sliced bread. The company used an idea that other brands like Jell-O and Mothers Cookies had employed in the past: giving away an automotive collector card with each packaged loaf of bread.
The subject was cars, but these vehicles weren’t presented in the typical format used by others in previous card sets. Instead, Wonder Bread played off the popularity of Topps’ Wacky Packages—who could forget Quacker Oats and Crust toothpaste?—and issued a 20-card set called Krazy Cars.
The unnumbered cards are funny, odd, and informative all at the same time. Each features a colorful caricature on the front, with the name changed slightly to create a lampooned version of the real thing, like Blunderbird (a feather-covered version of the Ford Thunderbird), Booick (a Halloween-themed Buick), and Stinkin’ Continental (a skunk-like Lincoln). You get the picture.
The backs contain three brief pieces of copy—Safety Fax, a fill-in-the-blank sentence; Funny Fax, a short joke; and Car Fax, an automotive piece of trivia. Nothing on the back corresponds to the car on the front. On the Toybota (a Toyota boat), for example, the Safety Fax shows a drawing of a traffic signal, with a question mark inside the top circle, and a stop sign. The copy next to it reads: “Each of these things is called a _ _ _ _ light and a _ _ _ _ sign.” (Answer: Stop.) The Toybota’s Funny Fax asks, “How is a car like a coal miner?” (They both wear headlights.) The answers are found in the lower right corner of the card, but they are printed upside down and backwards, so you need a mirror—or a sharp mind—to decode them. Finally, the Car Fax explains: “The world’s first practical motorcar was the Benz Comfortable. It was made in 1895 and had three wheels.”
Back in the day, it was difficult to collect an entire Krazy Cars set. You had to purchase 20 loaves of bread and then go 20-for-20 to get every card or, maybe have Wonder Bread-buying neighbors who could help you out. Since the cards were packaged inside sliced bread, which was (hopefully) soft, they often came with corner dings or creases.
Today, single cards are plentiful on eBay for a few bucks or less apiece, depending on condition. You can also find complete sets, in case you don’t want to collect them one by one.
A complete list of Krazy Cars is below. If Wonder Bread were to release a similar set today, what humorous variations of modern cars can you come up with? Share your ideas with the Hagerty Community in the comment section below.
1976 Wonder Bread Krazy Cars
Set of 20 cards; unnumbered / listed alphabetically